Monitoring, Control and Surveillance (MCS) in Southeast Asia: Review of the establishment of Regional MCS Network
The advent of Illegal, Unreported and Unregulated (IUU) fishing has been widely recognized as deterrent to the sustainable development and utilization of the fisheries resources in the region. The Resolution on Sustainable Fisheries for Food Security for the ASEAN Region Towards 2020 serves as policy framework for the formulation of national policies to harmonize all efforts in the region. Referring to fisheries management, the Plan of Action specifies the need to take measures to prevent unauthorized fishing and eliminate the use of illegal fishing practices by building the awareness of all stakeholders on the adverse impacts of illegal fishing practices, strengthening law enforcement, developing and promoting responsible and selective fishing gears and practices, enforcing regulations, and encouraging alternative means of livelihoods. Moreover, on marine fisheries, the Plan of Action requires that efforts to combat IUU fishing should as well consider the establishment and strengthening of regional and sub-regional coordination on fisheries management and efforts and should also include the development of regional and sub-regional Monitoring, Control and Surveillance (MCS) Networks. In order to facilitate initial cooperation for the MCS Network, a platform of cooperation must be provided at the sub-regional/regional level, which should also serve as forum to discuss the perspectives and considerations for the establishment of a Regional MCS Network (e.g. national regulatory framework, understanding limitations of Member Countries, and functions of cooperation).